More than a year after an accident spurred adjustments at a major Cowarts intersection, state officials are making even more changes.
Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver discussed the modifications to the intersection of Glen Lawrence and Forrester roads with U.S. Highway 84 during a meeting Thursday. He said the Alabama Department of Transportation has installed barriers temporarily closing the median until a more permanent solution is installed.
Cars approaching U.S. Highway 84 on Glen Lawrence or Forrester roads now must turn right before going left. The change comes after the state switched stoplights for flashing caution lights in the first quarter of last year.
The adjustments follow as accidents on a high-speed stretch of highway have increased in recent years. An accident between a semi-truck and a SUV on Jan. 30, 2018, did not produce life-threatening injuries, but it toppled one set of stoplights and fueled demands for changes to the intersection.
The recent modifications match plans ALDOT shared with the Eagle in late February 2018.
ALDOT spokeswoman Brantley Kirk told the Eagle that engineers were “finalizing details and gathering materials” needed to convert the intersection into an “indirect left” configuration at that point. The traffic pattern is similar to the one created when ALDOT made adjustments to the U.S. Highway 84 and Bay Springs Road intersection west of Dothan in 2015.
“Indirect lefts prevent cars from clustering in the median, which improves efficiency and reduces the potential for crashes,” Kirk told the Eagle then.
District 2 Commissioner Doug Sinquefield said he appreciated state officials and local legislators for initiating the further adjustments to the intersection.
“It gives people peace of mind as they approach the intersection,” he said.
Culver said the state will install a more permanent solution within the next two weeks.